Naturalists gather in Kelowna

Delegates will gather in Kelowna to discuss issues of the natural world at the B.C. Nature annual meeting this week.

The Central Okanagan Naturalists Club this week plays host to clubs from throughout B.C. as B.C. Nature, the provincial association, holds its annual general meeting at Okanagan College.

It kicks off today with pre-conference field trips to the southern part of the valley to tour some of the sites that were proposed for a national park, concluding with guided trips in the evening to hear flammulated owls and Western screech owls in West Kelowna.

Friday, more than 200 delegates will have an opportunity to do some early morning birding, followed by presentations on Fire in the Pines, with ecologist Don Gayton; then Birds and Beasts of Okanagan Mountain Park before and after the Firestorm, with biologist Les Gyug.

A discussion of its impacts on both small mammal populations and mushrooms will be discussed by Tom Sullivan of UBC and Melanie Jones and Dan Durall of UBCO.

In the afternoon, delegates will be able to choose from a series of field trips to such spots as Scenic Canyon, Bear Creek Canyon, the Boulder Trail in Okanagan Mountain Park, Summerland Ecological Reserve and Central Okanagan Land Trust properties in southeast Kelowna.

Anna Warwick Sears, executive-director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board will speak that evening, along with Todd Cashin, environmental land use manager for the City of Kelowna and Margaret Baakelaar, environmental land use planner for the regional district.

Saturday begins with more birding, then field trips and meetings, with the agm in the afternoon and a banquet in the evening.

Scott Alexander will give the keynote presentation on the Northern Pacific Rattlesnake, an Iconic Species at Risk.

Further outings are being planned for Sunday morning.


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